Sneaky-good Buccaneers free agency fit at position of need

Carlos Dunlap, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Carlos Dunlap, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers still need one more pass rusher to round out their core on defense. They would be wise to look into Carlos Dunlap.

The Buccaneers currently have a void on their roster created by the departure of Jason Pierre-Paul. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson should work their way up the depth chart to give the Bucs three quality pass rushers to use at any given time, but this probably isn’t enough for a team that has its sights set on a Super Bowl.

This is the part of the season where good teams get better. Franchise like the Bucs with a chance of making some noise and a quality central cast have an appeal on the market that puts Tampa in a great position to go after some veterans to help get back to the big game.

Carlson Dunlap would obviously help in this area.

Outside of the current three for the Bucs, there is no one on the roster to play that JPP defensive end role on the line of scrimmage as the third pass-rusher with a hand in the dirt. Shaquil Barrett, JTS, and Nelson are better-suited to be on the outside while JPP was able to bring something from the interior as well.

The Buccaneers could let it ride with one of their young guys in that forth role and hope that they don’t need to get that far down on the depth chart, but signing a guy like Dunlap to a cheap deal after his great 2021 season in a depth role takes many of the question marks out of the situation and also gives Tampa a way of filling that role, especially in four-man fronts.

The Bucs would get depth at one of the most important positions, Dunlap would get the best chance of his career at winning a Super Bowl, and JTS wouldn’t be under a mountain of pressure to take any huge steps in year two.

The deal works effectively for everyone and gives Todd Bowles another veteran defensive weapon to build around when the scheme calls for a little something extra. The Bucs should at least be interested.

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